Student housing: Staying the course

Many students attending university for the first time this year are in the dark over when their higher education will begin and how much, if any, of it will be done in person or virtually.

The student-housing market has inevitably been hit by the Covid pandemic, with many students deferring or planning to stay at home in the near term. But the adverse impact on student housing might not be as dire as it has been on other property types – rental income on retail and hotels assets has been the clearest victim.

Samuel Vetrak, the CEO of student-housing research firm Bonard, has talked to about 80 different stakeholders, including operators, in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, and the information gathered suggests that premises are about 70-75% occupied. “This is mainly due to the fact that the high proportion of international students who would have returned back home stayed in the primary premises.” …

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